8 min read
Time for a pop quiz: what is the biggest organ in the human body?
It’s the skin! But it doesn’t get enough credit as one of the most important organs we have. Sure, we’ve all been told to lather on sunscreen and moisturize, but if you’ve been suffering from acne, or if you just want to forestall your next outbreak, it’s time to consider adding supplements and vitamins to your daily routine.
Rather than just treating a breakout reactively, like many skincare products, the following vitamins can help improve your skin's holistic health.
This is important because unhealthy skin is the perfect breeding ground for new outbreaks of every type of acne: regular, inflammatory and cystic.
So let’s look at the best vitamins and supplements for acne and skin health, and help you start popping vitamins instead of zits.
Before we begin, it should be known that acne has two primary causes, and storks aren’t one of them.
It can either be caused by hormonal imbalances in your body, which is often what teenagers suffer from, or by unhealthy or blocked skin. Skin pores can be blocked by dirt or debris or dead skin cells.
While skin supplements have been shown to help, a holistic approach is key, so consider clearing your pores with exfoliators, too.
What’s so nifty about skin supplements and other vitamins is that some remove these blockers by reducing the production of skin oil, causing your skin pores to remain open, and others prevent your skin from drying out – a great thing, because dry skin leads to dead skin cells. And hydrated skin and clear pores equates to healthy skin cells, reducing the risk for acne!
Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins that your body needs for healthy skin. Nutrients magazine discovered through extensive testing that Vitamin C assists wound healing and minimizes scar formation and helps prevent your skin from drying out or aging quickly. This is likely due to the fact that Vitamin C is an antioxidant.
Antioxidants are great for your skin since they prevent the movement of free radical oxygen molecules. These oxygen molecules can cause harm to the cells of your skin, so the presence of antioxidants traps these molecules and keep your skin healthy and nourished.
While Vitamin C is not a direct fix for acne, it does help with some of the underlying causes of acne, such as overly-oily or impoverished skin pores.
Vitamin D has also been linked to healthy skin. In a recent study, scientists found that Vitamin D actually has a negative correlation with acne severity.
What that means is that the people in the study who had Vitamin D deficiencies were more likely to have acne than those with normal levels. Even more powerful, the scientists demonstrated that Vitamin D, when given to those with a vitamin deficiency and severe acne, greatly reduced the severity of the acne overall.
Exactly why Vitamin D deficiency leads to acne breakouts is unclear, but it's worth topping up your Vitamin D levels, especially in winter, as our skin generates its own Vitamin D from sunlight. Moreover, our bodies need a healthy amount of Vitamin D for a good night sleep, and essential functions, so it’s a good idea to take a supplement if you might be Vitamin D deficient.
Much like Vitamin C, Vitamin E is an antioxidant and therefore reduces the number of free radical molecules floating around between your cells.
It’s assumed that maintaining the adequate intake amount of Vitamins E and C can be really important for overall skin health, but these vitamins are necessary for other bodily functions as well. Vitamin E’s link to skin health and dermatology can be found in an Indian Dermatol Online Journal paper, where they studied the effect of Vitamin E in common dermatology practices.
Fight that oily face look with fish oil. The evidence shows that populations that consume a high level of fish oil are already well known to have less inflammatory acne than populations with a low level of fish oil. A paper from the Lipid Health Distribution found that fish oil supplementation was positively associated with less overall acne inflammation and severity.
This is particularly true if the test subjects already had some acne to begin with.
However, this particular supplement provides results that vary greatly depending on the individual. This means that a fish oil supplement will not necessarily be perfect for your acne condition. It just depends on your own body’s biochemistry.
Use this flower, evening primrose, to uproot the very worst kind of acne. This supplement tackles some of the subsidiary causes of inflammatory or cystic acne. In particular, those who suffer from bad acne often have dry or cracked skin or skin that may be rougher and more fatigued than normal.
Evening primrose has been shown by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science to improve skin moisture and prevents trans epidermal water loss.
In addition to these benefits, evening primrose is known to improve skin elasticity and fatigue resistance as well as roughness.
All of these benefits combined to make your skin feel better and remain more hydrated than it otherwise would be. While this does not directly reduce acne, it may help your skin in the long run and lead to healthier skin cell environment where acne is less likely to flourish or sprout up.
Zinc deficiencies are always a bad thing, as zinc is an essential mineral that our bodies need for overall health, never mind just fighting acne. A leading dermatology journal published research on the effects of oral zinc supplements to see how well it might reduce the amount of acne on patients’ skin.
The results were inarguable. Zinc supplements reduced the acne incidence on patients’ skin by 85%. The same test attempted to determine whether or not Vitamin A helped acne outbreaks as well, but the results were more inconclusive and found that Vitamin A does not likely have much of an effect on acne.
However, another paper from the Medical Archives Journal found that Vitamin A was a significant supplement when it came to reducing acne outbreaks for patients across a wide spectrum of age groups. Due to these results, people with acne can safely use Vitamin A supplements to combat their acne, especially if they already have a Vitamin A deficiency. So zap your acne with a zinc supplement – and maybe a Vitamin A supplement, too.
Vitamins C, D, and E are all excellent supplements to start fighting your acne. Our bodies all require a certain number of key vitamins and minerals in order to function properly and maintain good bodily health. This especially means taking care of your skin, which acne or not is the largest organ in the body. Vitamin supplements are a fantastic idea for reducing acne and caring for overall skin health.
A Skin Boost vitamin pack is the perfect way to get all the best vitamins you need to help your skin achieve greater health and reduce acne outbreaks across your skin.
Vitamin A, which is an antioxidant and thus [prevents those pesky free radicals]https://www.healthline.com/health/vitamin-a-for-acne#benefits) from damaging your skin cells, can help reduce the incidence of acne scars and help your skin to heal more holistically than it otherwise might. This essential vitamin can even reduce the likelihood of acne scars appearing after acne outbreaks.
Likewise, Vitamin C, another antioxidant, does a killer job of stopping scars in their tracks. However, these vitamins cannot make acne scars that have already been cemented into the skin disappear. They are best used to prevent new acne scars from forming and for helping your skin to heal after a particularly bad outbreak, such as those suffered by patients with cystic acne.
Diet can affect acne since your diet is one of the primary ways that your body takes in key vitamins and minerals. A poor diet will lead to a deficiency in certain vitamins which, as we saw above, is likely linked to unhealthy skin and overall acne severity.
The Postepy Dermatology Allergology journal published a study linking diet to acne vulgaris, which is a technical term for common chronic acne as a result of the blocking of pores or the inflammation of your hair follicles on your skin. This is normally the acne that affects adults, as teenagers are often subjected to acne as a result of hormone imbalances of the body.
What the study uncovered was that your diet unconditionally affects the incidence of acne. High-glycemic load diets, for instance, greatly exacerbate acne. While the jury is still out on which other foods cause or prevent acne, it is always best to eat a well-balanced diet.
Aloe vera is not good for acne treatment in and of itself. In a study last year, researchers found that treating acne patients with only aloe vera was ineffective and did not result in any significant acne decreases.
However, when they combined aloe vera with tretinoin, the mixture was suddenly much more effective and was able to reduce most types of acne with great results. It’s clear that aloe vera feels good on our skin, but it’s not enough to treat acne. That’s a good lesson for why it’s best to take a holistic approach in fighting acne.